About Me

I have done a lot of things in my life and have also worked in many different jobs to make a living and to experience life. This blog is just some of my musings, sometimes funny, sometimes inspirational, sometimes sad, sometimes angry, sometimes simple but all the time, it's just me.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Fight fair, resolve conflicts

They may forget what you said
but they will never forget how you made them feel.

I remember when I was young I used to love watching Muhammad Ali in the boxing ring. Boxing was so big those days that when there was a Ali match telecast, my dad would even have a television in the office to watch the match.

Of course all of us wanted to be boxers like Ali but one day, outside of the tennis courts in school, one guy picked a fight with me for no apparent reason or for a reason I could not remember. I immediately got into Ali normal stance and egged the fella on like Ali used to. And this fella duly boxed me below the belt and winded me and I was bent over gasping for air.

Just like I had no idea to how to box, most of us have no idea how to resolve conflicts especially in some relationships.

Conflict is inevitable and needs to be dealt effectively in any relationships.

An old friend of mine whom I have known since I was barely out of diapers pissed me off one day and until now I have not forgotten how he made me feel. I may have forgiven him, and I may even forget what he may have said but I have not forgotten how he made me feel.

A simple guideline to resolving conflicts is fighting fair.

Using a boxing ring methodology, the first guideline would be to stay in the ring and stay off the ropes. No matter how long it takes, if we love someone or want any relationship to work, we must have enough stamina to confront and push through the emotions.

The opposite of love is not hate, it is indifference.

While Ali had a good style in the boxing ring and won many championships, in a relationship, he is not the fighter you want to be. Ali used to rest and bounce around in the rope and entice his opponents who thought he was tired to box him. They will box and box but he will just rest against the rope and bounce around until his opponents got tired. He would then take advantage and win the match. This is what you call rope a dope and not a method to be used to resolving conflicts in a relationship.

Next type of boxes is Mike Tyson. Remember him. I hated watching Tyson and pitied those who paid thousands to go watch him. He was a knock-out artist. Tyson's matches were normally over in a matter of seconds because he would always want to win. This again is not how conflicts in relationship should be managed. The "I am always right and I want my way every time" does not resolve relationship conflicts, it just aggravates it.

Of course there are those boxers who are the pretty boys of boxing, or they are paid off. They are not really in it for the fight and will throw in the towel or give up as soon as the match gets too tough. Some boxers against Tyson just would throw in the towel so early in the match because of the beating they were getting. Of course in a relationship, this are the doormats, or the ones who want to be martyrs. This just produces a false peace and creates ultimate bitterness. It is being indifferent, I give up, I don't want to fight.

The fourth style is healthier but still not the best. It is the one-two puncher. I punch a few punches and you punch a few punches. After 15 rounds, let the judges have the headache to give the match to someone on points. It is healthier and more effective than others but there is still expectation of someone winning and someone losing.

The best type of boxing for a relationship is the sparring partner. This person is committed to being a teammate and helping the partner to improve. The relationship between sparring partners is more important than anything the can argue about and the process of sparring is more vital and beneficial in a relationship than the outcome. Not necessarily someone needs to win and someone needs to loose. We need to improve each other and we need to understand one another.

Just like boxing, there must be some ground rules as well to fighting fair and resolving conflicts.

Some limits cannot be exceeded before you start a sparring match with someone and these limits must be clearly set our before the match. If with a co-worker, let them know that you are committed to finding a resolution together without finding a scapegoat.

With a friend, yo need to let them know that you are committed to the friendship and both must be willing to endure the unpleasant feeling that comes with confrontation but keep in mind that you want to preserve the friendship.

Also, we must not use harmful words but only helpful words, the kind that build up and provide what is needed.

Words can cut deeply and the wounds can linger and fester for years, just like the wounds by my one time close friends is lingering until now.

Next ground rule is don't attack. Never say you did this or you did that and it is your fault. Instead of attacking, own your feelings. Start with your feelings; they are valid because that is how you feel. Express your feelings but do not let them consume the conflict.

Also, history is history, do not drag history to a present conflict. It is always so tempting to do so but this will only divert attention from the conflict at hand. Focus on the immediate issues and stay on that issue until you reach some resolution.

Commit to fighting fair, follow the ground rules, be a sparring partner and you will resolve your conflicts.

But there are on rare occasions where a resolution cannot be reached. In these split decisions, decide on reconciliation rather than resolution because the relationship is more important.

Apostle James said, "Wisdom is peace loving and courteous. It allows discussion and is willing to yield to others."

Mature relationship especially like the one I have with my wife can handle a split decision because there are some things we always agree to disagree and move on. God made us all different and it will be impossible to agree on each and everything in life, so agree to disagree and do not let that influence your love.

This is not compromising but accepting there are two different views and both of you have differing viewpoints. The most important is you bring the Prince of Peace, God into the ring with you and ask him to help you to reconcile and to resolve conflicts fairly so that you can love completely.

Be at peace with yourself, fight fairly and use the Universe's infinite love and power daily.

Take care and be well.   

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